Sunday, December 8, 2013

5 reasons cell phones benefit a 1:1 environment

Cross posted at Partners in Learning 1:1 Hot Topics

Go into any office today and you’ll notice that 1:1 does not exist. To operate effectively in today’s workplace, at the very least, a 2:1 environment, with a computer and a phone, is required. It’s likely that there are one or two other devices in use as well. This is the world for which we have to prepare today’s students.

Not only is it beneficial to support students with their success in school environments that look like real-life environments, it is also beneficial to schools.

Here’s why:

  1. Reduce drain on bandwidth - We are all familiar with school bandwidth issues. When more students are using their own mobile devices, there is less drain on school-wide bandwidth usage.
  2. More resources available to all - Cell phones are no longer single function devices. Today, even the most basic phones have audio and video recording, camera, calculator, and more. Imagine if every classroom had a few more of these resources. With cell phones, they do.
  3. Transfer and apply school learning to daily life - School devices often can’t be taken home. As a result the learning device is locked in the school. That’s not the case with cell phones. If we support students in using these powerful learning tools, learning becomes tied to the student, not the school.
  4. More time on task - Most young people are lickety-split when it comes to typing on their phones. Many prefer these devices and enjoy the benefits using them provides. Additionally, just like in the real world, during times when we’re waiting for our computer to turn on, load, or process, we can be doing other work on our phones.
  5. Workaround for battery life issues - When we support students in using multiple devices, battery life issues become less of a burden. One device can be charging as another is in use, or strategic use of both devices can provide power all day.
What do you think? What other ways are cell phones useful in 1:1 environments? Do you find these ideas helpful? How do you envision bringing them back to your place of work?

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